Pest Management For Restaurants
With the cockroach appearing as the most common pest in restaurants, Attack Pest Control have put together our top tips on how to prevent pest problems occuring on your food premises.
The most common pest in restaurants, by and large, is the German cockroach. This is a roach that is predominately inside homes, it’s not an outside insect, and can be moved from area to area in boxes, in cartons, in deliveries.
A lot of times that’s how these insects get into restaurants, and then they become established and can build their populations fairly quickly. Cockroaches can go from just a few to a hundred to thousands in a matter of months if left unchecked.
Even newly opened stores are not immune to the pest problem. Shiny stainless steel and sparkling glassware mean nothing to invaders.
You can’t completely prevent introduction of pests, especially cockroaches. You can get in a shipment of cases of beer and they can be in the cardboard. What you need to have is a preventive situation in the facility, where everything is sealed up and caulked, so that when that bug is introduced it can’t become an infestation.
The point is to prevent the infestation rather than an introduction. An introduction can be just one or two pests, whereas an infestation might be a thousand.
Some stores have "clean rooms" where shipments are unpacked outside, often in a utility building at the rear of the property. This eliminates most incoming boxes.
But pests can come in via transport other than boxes. Because employees’ homes can be shared with cockroaches, workers often become unwary vessels of delivery. This calls for a policy that prohibits personal items, such as purses and coats, to be carried into food prep or storage areas.
To head off potential problems in storage areas inside the store, restaurants should have a standardised system of storage areas where there is clear labeling of "date in" to assure proper rotation, and where shelves – preferably metal – are well spaced and off the floor. The storage area should be easy to clean, easy to inspect and clutter-free.
You should also think about contracting with a reputable pest control services company – one that will supply references, and be forthcoming with other information such as a certificate of insurance. An integrated plan with consistent follow-up and ongoing sanitation reports for store management is a plan that Attack Pest Control have found works.
While it may seem obvious to say, it needs proclaimed again and again: cleanliness is a huge factor in restaurants in keeping pests at bay.
We recommend a three-pronged approach for any pest management program:
- The integrity of the building must be maintained. This involves replacing worn-out weather-stripping on doors to prevent house flies from entering, as well as repairing cracks in walls and floors to eliminate the "safe harbour" that pests love.
- Checking incoming supplies – insects may be difficult to detect, especially with cardboard boxes, where cockroaches can hide and even breed in the tubular flutes that make up many box surfaces.
- Keeping it clean. A master cleaning schedule that is followed consistently is highly advised.
We emphasize the need for education – the more you know, the less the risk of a pest problem getting out of control. Anywhere you have people and food product, you’ll have pests. This is because we provide food, water and shelter: the three things needed for pests to live.